After a series of critically-acclaimed albums of interpretations, Bettye LaVette’s new album Blackbirds sees the five time Grammy nominee revisit her roots, honouring her heritage as an R&B singer and the women who came before her.
LaVette’s most recent album, Things Have Changed, a collection of Bob Dylan interpretations, was released to widespread critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone noting “LaVette has re-emerged as one of the foremost interpreters and shapers of popular song”. Blackbirds is set to continue this tradition, paying homage to some of the greatest women in jazz history including Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington. The album is produced by Steve Jordan, who also produced Things Have Changed.
With a career spanning nearly six decades, this year LaVette was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. Her first single “My Man –He’s A Lovin’ Man” was released on Atlantic Records in 1962, when she was only 16 years old. She continued recording until her resurgence came in the early 2000’s with a series of albums of interpretations, and in 2008 she wowed the audience at the Kennedy Centre Honours ceremony with a heart-wrenching rendition of The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me.” Bettye performed “A Change Is Gonna Come” with Bon Jovi at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
Latest single ‘Blues For The Weepers’ is out now. Blackbirds is released on Verve Records on August 28th.
- I Hold No Grudge– Nina Simone
- One More Song – Sharon Robinson
- Blues For The Weepers – Della Reese
- Book Of Lies – Ruth Brown
- Romance In The Dark – Lil Green
- Drinking Again – Dinah Washington
- Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday, Nina Simone
- Save Your Love For Me – Nancy Wilson
- Blackbird – The Beatles
Blackbird (The Beatles) – written by McCartney, inspired by race relations in the US in 1960s
Previously released a live version of Blackbird on Worthy (Deluxe) (2014)